Category Archives: Mental Illness

Types of Depression III- Bipolar Illness

According to statistics released by the Depression and Bipolar Alliance (DPA): Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year. (National Institute of Mental Health) The median age … Continue reading

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Types Of Depression II

The new (2013) Diagnostic And Statistical Manual 5 (DSM) changed some categories of depression. It replaces the older category of dysthymia, or long-term depression from childhood, with persistent depressive disorder. For lack of scientific basis to differentiate dysthymia from chronic … Continue reading

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Types of Depression

What do We Know about Depression? At some time in your life you have a 1/10 chance of being diagnosed with depression, the “common cold of mental illness.” The number of patients diagnosed with depression increases 20% each year. 80% … Continue reading

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The Sight of Misfortune

 Today I lunched with a friend, who described himself as someone with “a strong diagnosis.” He meant his diagnosis of mental illness.  To calm his symptoms in stress, for example, his service dog remains by his side–day and night. People … Continue reading

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Funny Man

Robin Williams (1951-2014) was our Funny Man. Through his TV series, movies, stand-up comedy, and personal interactions, he loved to make us laugh.  We mourn the loss of a cultural ikon who loved, more than anything else, to double over … Continue reading

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Dispelling Myths About Psychiatry II

4. Are psychiatric illnesses not real because there are no diagnostic tests for psychiatry? The physical location, of thought, mood, and behavior, is the brain. We don’t like to biopsy that organ without extremely good reason. The consistency of the brain is … Continue reading

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Dispelling Myths About Psychiatry I

Many people believe that psychiatric conditions aren’t as well defined as other medical diseases, that psychiatric treatments aren’t supported by as much scientific evidence, and that they don’t work as well as other medical treatments. Dr. N.L. Stotland, in her Presidential … Continue reading

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Recovering our Lost Sanity – and Mission

If you love books the way I do, you’ll feel excited to read of the many top titles produced in the past year. The recent issue of Christianity Today (January/February 2014, pp. 44-46) lists a number of significant titles on which … Continue reading

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Helping the Sufferer: How You Should Feel

As a beginning chaplain in a psychiatric hospital I recall an encounter with a crying, depressed woman, admitted to the hospital because she had tried to commit suicide. I had just began my twelve-weeks of training, and that was the first … Continue reading

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When Our Body Speaks For Us

At times, when we feel unable to put our anguish into words, our body speaks for us. In 1994, Robert Sapolsky published Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers (revised and updated, 2004). Renowned biologist Sapolksy describes how prolonged stress causes or intensifies a … Continue reading

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